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 University of Alabama officials accused of falsifying government reports in USDA complaint


Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Contact: Michael Budkie 513-703-9865 (cell)

ATTENTION: Daybook/News Desk

University of Alabama officials accused of falsifying government reports in USDA complaint; News Conference set Wednesday

BIRMINGHAM - University of Alabama, Birmingham officials here have filed false reports to the government - perhaps to conceal illegal activities in its laboratories, according to a complaint filed with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture by a national research watchdog organization.

A major news conference to release details of the complaint will be held WEDNESDAY, at 10:15 a.m. at the entrance to Volker Hall (608 University), hosted by SAEN, an Ohio-based non-profit investigatory organization.

SAEN said it will make public internal UAB documents indicating the school has falsified reports by not reporting research which cause unrelieved pain and/or distress. SAEN analysts have concluded that UAB projects fall into this category, but have not been reported honestly. The university is liable for heavy fines for violating federal law.

SAEN said it has uncovered protocols at UAB where researchers routinely deprive macaque monkeys of water for as long as 18 hours per day, 5 days per week. In other laboratories these practices have led to primates of approximately 28 pounds receiving less than one-quarter cup of water for an entire day.

"The practice of depriving primates of water is such a cruel practice that it should not be allowed by government regulatory agencies," said Michael A. Budkie, A.H.T., SAEN's Executive Director. "If a private individual deprived a companion animal of water in this way, they would go to jail."

"It is beyond my comprehension - and probably highly illegal - how experiments that deprive primates of water, bolt devices into the skull with stainless steel screws, and confine them to restraint chairs for up to 5 hours can be classified as not causing pain and distress," added Budkie.


See Facility Reports and Information: University of Alabama - Birmingham, AL

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